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My Eyes Into Scouting

I volunteer with the Cub Program of Scouts Canada. I learned about the program through a friend of mine, who was talking about it with someone else. When I asked him about it, he told me that I would only have to give one hour a week for meetings. That was six years ago.

Cubs is a three-year program for youth from eight to ten years of age, located between Beavers and Scouts. The boys earn stars and badges in order to move on to the next level. We teach them a lot of different things, such as how to tie various knots and use a compass. We also teach them how to make simple meals over a fire. We have three Cub camps a year--fall, winter and summer--the last one was in June at Pelee Island.

Lord Baden Powell founded Scouting in 1907. When he was a little boy in England, he did not do well in school. He used to daydream and even not go to class. Sometimes he went into the woods to play. He learned how to survive in the woods for many days and also which plants and berries he could eat so that he would not die.

The Cub program is based on the Jungle Book and the characters found in its pages. Each leader has a name from the book; Akela is the head wolf or the alpha wolf, Rockshaw is the mother wolf, and Bagheera is the black panther. Each Cub pack has its own uniform; ours is blue pants, a khaki shirt, and a red and blue neckerchief.

But one thing all Scout groups have in common is our handshake. When we meet another group in scouting, we all shake hands with our left hand. Lord Baden Powell thought that when Scouters met each other, this handshake would be a way for others to know that he or she had met another Scouter.

In my Cub pack, there are seven youth and three leaders; we can have up to 21 youth because each leader can be in charge of seven boys. While our Cub pack does not have any girls yet, they are welcome. Scouts will never turn away a girl who wants to join. Even if it means recruiting more female leaders (we presently have one).

I believe there is a little boy in one of the programs who has difficulty seeing. While I am not sure if he is blind or vision-impaired, I understand he has a difficult time playing some games and the leaders are trying to accommodate him. In fact, one of the badges Cubs can earn is for Disability Awareness.

My vision does not affect me at all in my volunteering--teaching the boys about different things from the Cub program. One of the other Cub leaders comes and picks me up for meetings; she just lives down the street from me.

The kids in my Cub pack know about my vision, but it really does not make any difference to them.

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